By Joel Chirwa
St Patrick’s Seminary Health Centre which is under the Catholic Diocese of Mzuzu has been re-opened, two years after its closure following government’s withdrawal from paying the health facility’s workers.
St John’s Hospital Director, Jessie Mughogho Chihana confirmed the development in an interview that the health facility, which is under St John’s Hospital, has been reopened.
“We are reopening the St Patrick’s Seminary Health Centre which was closed for about two years as the Ministry of Health and Population had stopped paying salaries for staff.
Government, through an agreement between the ministry and Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM), was supposed to be paying salaries for staff but the former stopped honouring the agreement two years ago,” said Chihana.
She said due to the development, the facility could not provide health services due to financial challenges.
“We will start with Out Patients Department (OPD) services and we will resume providing all the other services later,” she said.
Chihana, however, down played fears that operating the facility without government’s support will lead to increased fees for medical services.
“Our medical services’ fees will be reasonable enough to be afforded by everyone,” she said.
Director Planning and Development (DPD)for Rumphi District Council, Frank Mkandawire hailed the Diocese of Mzuzu for reopening the health facility, saying it will reduce congestion at Rumphi District Hospital.
“People from Lukali, Chisyemba and Mlongoti were mostly served by this facility and its reopening is a plus towards the council’s strive in providing quality health services,” said Mkandawire. –Mana